Bicycle Accident Statistics
General Bike Accident Statistics
Please note that some 2012 and 2013 national and Pennsylvania bike accident statistics are not yet available. Please check back frequently for updated bicycle collision statistics.
Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation, 57 million people (27.3% of the population ages 16 or older) rode a bicycle at least once during the summer of 2002 -- the most recent data available for bicycle statistics.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 30% of the American population own bikes, and 45% of bicycle owners ride at least occasionally. Seventy percent of children ages 5-14 ride bicycles occasionally.
- As of 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that head injuries account for 70% of cycling fatalities.
- According to a 1989 case study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing a properly fitted helmet can help reduce the risk of head injury by 74-85%.
- In Pennsylvania, children ages 5 to 14 years old are the most at risk of death and injury from a bike accident.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, head injuries account for 62% of bicycle-related deaths. About 33% of all bicycle-related emergency department visits and 67% of all bicycle-related hospital admissions involve head injuries. Young riders use bicycle helmets just 15-25% of the time, even though they are required by law to wear helmets until age 12.
- Bicycle crashes and injuries are under-reported, because the majority of bike accident injuries are not serious enough for emergency room visits.
Pittsburgh Bicycle Accident Statistics
- There were 361 accidents involving bicyclists and drivers in Pittsburgh between January 2006 and July 2012 (according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation). Top causes included making improper or careless turns, running red lights, running stop signs, performing improper driving actions, and other unknown causes.
- Bicyclists were found at fault for half of the recorded accidents.
- One out of 10 collisions resulted when a cyclist ran a red light or stop sign.
- Four percent occurred when a cyclist rode on the wrong side of the road up a one-way road.
- More than 15 percent (16.6% and 60 crashes) occurred when motorists made careless turns.
- Data showed that cars are four times more likely to sideswipe a bicycle than vice versa.
2012 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- There were 16 bicyclist deaths and 1,377 injured in accidents in 2012 -- both were an increase from 2011.
- There were 1,369 crashes in 2012 in Pennsylvania.
- Children ages 5-14 suffered the most injuries while riding a bicycle (441).
- The age group with the highest percentage of injuries was 20-34 (396).
- The age group with the highest number of bicycle accident deaths was 45-64 (5).
- The largest number of bicycle accident injuries occurred at 4-leg intersections (635), but the highest number of deaths occurred at non-intersections (9).
2011 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2011, bicycle crashes represented only 1 percent of the total reported crashes and 0.9 percent of all traffic deaths.
- Bicycle crashes in resulted in 11 bicyclist deaths and 1,312 injuries in Pennsylvania in 2011.
- The total number of bicycle crashes decreased in 2011, but has remained very consistent over the past 5 years.
- Children ages 5 to 14 were the most vulnerable to death and injury while riding a bicycle in 2011.
- The majority (54.6%) of bicycle accidents in 2011 occurred during daylight hours.
2010 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- The number of bicycle accident injuries increased in 2010 to 1,474.
- The number of deaths from bicycle accidents also increased in 2010 to 21.
- People ages 20-34 had the highest number of injuries in bicycle accidents, but people ages 45-64 had the highest number of deaths.
2009 National Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2009, 630 bicyclists were killed and 51,000 were injured.
- Pedalcyclist deaths made up 2 percent of all motor vehicle traffic deaths.
- While 630 bikers did lose their lives, the number is 12 percent lower than in 2008.
- The majority of bicyclist deaths occurred in urban areas (70 percent).
- Nearly 75 percent of bikers were killed between 4 a.m. and 8 p.m. Nearly 20 percent were killed between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight.
- Wearing a helmet is the singlemost effective way to prevent a head injury or traumatic brain injury in a bicycle crash.
- The average age of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2009 was 41. The average age for those injured was 31.
- The large majority of people killed in 2009 in bicycle crashes were male (87 percent).
- Alcohol-impaired riding or driving was reported in more than 40 percent of the accidents that resulted in bicyclist fatalities in 2009. In a third of the crashes, either the driver or biker had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .08 or higher (the legal limit).
2009 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2009, there were 16 bicyclist deaths. which is twice as many as in 2008.
- There were 1,380 crashes involving bicycles in 2009, and while there were more deaths, there were fewer injuries overall.
- Children ages 5 to 14 were most vulnerable to death and injury while riding a bicycle. Nearly one-third of the total number were in this age group.
- Most of the deaths occurred at non-intersections (62.5 percent).
- Ages 20 to 34 had the highest number of injuries at 363.
2008 National Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2008, 716 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents, a slight increase from 2007.
- There was a 21% increase in the number of bicyslists injured in 2008, totaling 52,000.
- Bicyclist deaths in 2008 accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities during the year.
- About 53,000 bicyclists have died in traffic crashes in the United States since 1932.
- Bicyclists accounted for 14% of all non-occupant traffic fatalities in 2008.
- Bicycle rider fatalities occurred more frequently in urban areas (69%), at non-intersection locations (64%), and between 5 and 9 at night (28%).
- The average age of bicyclists killed in traffic accidents in 2008 was 41. The average age for those injured was 31.
2008 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2008, there were 8 bicyclist deaths and 1,419 bicyclist injuries in Pennsylvania.
- Bicycle crashes represent 1.1% of the total reported crashes and 0.5% of all traffic deaths.
- Bicyclists between ages 15 and 19 suffered one death and 17% of the total injuries in Pennsylvania in 2008.
- In 2008, children ages 5 to 14 accounted for 25% of the total bicyclist deaths in Pennsylvania.
- Bicyclists between 35 and 44 years of age accounted for 37.5% of all bicyclist deaths in Pennsylvania in 2008.
- 75% of total bicyclist deaths in 2008 occured in non-daylight conditions.
- Exactly 75% of the deaths of bicyclists occurred on state roads in 2008, while 56% of the injuries occurred on non-state roads.
2007 National Bicycle Accident Statistic
- In 2007, bicyclists accounted for 698 of the 41,059 deaths from auto accidents.
- 44,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in 2007.
- Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities in 2007.
- In 2007, the average age of bicyclists killed in accidents was 40.
- Bicycle riders under 16-years-old accounted for 15% of all bicyclists killed and 29% of those injured in traffic crashes in 2007.
- In 33% of the crashes, either the driver or the cyclist was reported to have a BAC of .08 or higher.
- Most of the bicyclists killed (88%) or injured (83%) in 2007 were males.
- In 2007, the bicyclist fatality rate was eight times higher for males than for females, and the injury rate was more than five times higher for males.
2007 Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident Statistics
- 1,426 injuries and 20 deaths were the result of traffic crashes involving bicyclists in 2007.
- In general, children ages 5-14 are the most vulnerable to death and injury in bicycle accidents.
- Adults ages 20-34 accounted for the largest percentage of fatalities (35%) and the highest percentage of injuries (22.8%).
2006 National Bicycle Accident Statistics
- In 2006, 773 bicyclists were killed in accidents.
- 44,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic crashes.
- Bicyclist deaths accounted for 2% of all traffic fatalities.
- Bicylcist injuries accounted for 2% of all people injured in traffic accidents.
- Bicylcists accounted for 13% of all nonoccupant traffic deaths.
- The average age of bicyclists killed in accidents in 2006 was 41, the average age of those injured was 30.
- Bicyclists under the age of 16 accounted for 14% of all bicyclists killed in accidents and 28% of those injured.
- 88% of the bicyclists that were killed in 2006 were male. 82% of those injured were male.
- More than one-third of all bicycle accidents that resulted in bicyclist fatalities were alcohol-related.
- Bicyclist deaths occurred more frequently in urban areas (73%) and at non-intersection locations (68%).
- Fatalities occurred most frequently between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m. (27%).
- Bike rider deaths were most common during the summer months (33%).
Sources: Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute; Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2009. PennDot. "In Pittsburgh Accidents, Bicyclists Not Always to Blame." Post-Gazette. August 16, 2012.